If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.All posts from Anne Kingston
Summer is an extremely popular time to visit Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Yes, you might have to fight a few crowds — especially on the weekends — but the attractions are, in our opinion, worth it. This season, Como is at its best with butterflies, blooms, carousel rides, live music, foam parties and more. Here are ten things to put on your checklist:
- Blooming Butterflies returns to Como on June 16th! Explore the indoor greenhouse stocked with hundreds of exotic and native species, learn about their life cycles and even release your own butterfly into the exhibit. Open during summer hours, 10am-6pm | FREE
5/2 & 5/4: MayDay Build Workshops | In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Minneapolis • 7-9pm • Come help create floats for the annual MayDay celebration in Powderhorn Park. Artists will guide volunteers in creating a piece of their own or a contribution to a parade float.
Earth Day Network’s first Earth Day was in 1970. It’s continuing mission — “to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations.”
For us, it’s a chance to teach our children about good stewardship of our planet, while getting out and enjoying the long-awaited spring. I think the spring thing may be why the Twin Cities Metro does not skimp on Earth Day activities and events. We have a sampling of Earth Day family events to get out with your kids and celebrate our environment this month.
Thanks to this month’s sponsor Rockin’ Jump! Check them out at FFTC’s Rockin’ Party on April 15.
Click here for more Rockin' Party InformationClick here for more information.
Como Zoo announced the birth of twins today — baby Emperor Tamarin Twins! A boy and a girl (they think). The twins were born on January 27th and are now on display. There are only about 30 Emperor Tamarins in U.S. zoos. These tiny primates are currently only about 40 grams and will grow to be around 1 pound.
Once upon a time, preschool storytimes were an integral part of my weekday routine as a stay-at-home mom with toddlers and preschoolers.
The time we spent at bookstores, libraries and other tot spots around town made up a big piece of our social life. We’d see familiar faces, discover new stories, and I would often take away valuable nuggets of parenting advice. The list below of toddler and preschool story times are hosted at highly kid-friendly venues around the Twin Cities. And, with one noted exception, each program is completely free entertainment for your young ones.
Thanks to our sponsor Base Camp Pre-K Days. If you are looking for a program with one of the most wonderful preschool teachers, David Donavan, look no further than Base Camp. Click here for Base Camp Pre-K Days
Don’t look at these 10 ideas as an end-of-summer bucket list — because personally, I’m not ready to look fall in the face — but take these suggestions as a reminder that there is plenty of the season left to enjoy! Here’s what August has in store for the Twin Cities:
When: Saturday, Aug. 1 • 10am-1pm
Details: The whole family is welcome to come play in the Textile Center’s natural plant dye garden, create a macrame plant hanger and bring a miniature garden home. Refreshments will be provided.
When: Tuesday, Aug. 4 • times vary
Details: Community gatherings across the Twin Cities encourage you to get out, spend the evening with your neighbors and promote safe neighborhoods. Minneapolis has an extensive list of registered block parties (complete with proposed activities) here, organized by neighborhoods. St. Paul’s list can be found here. Even if you don’t plan to leave your own ‘hood for the evening, ideas for your own bash abound on these lists.
When: Wednesday, Aug. 5 • 12-3pm
Details: Ride a waterslide, try an obstacle course, make a craft, and play games. Meet pond critters, birds of prey, and reptiles. Build a sand castle and win a cool treat.
When: Wednesday, Aug. 5 • 6-8pm
Details: Catch the final Groovin’ in the Garden performance (local band “i like you.”) and, depending on the ages of your kids, they might let you sit and enjoy while being entertained by the free Park & Rec equipment: a jump castle, giant climbing wall, and lawn games. If not, at least you can hear the music while the kids exhaust themselves. Bring a blanket and picnic or purchase food onsite.
When: Saturday, Aug. 8 • 1-4pm
Details: Bring along your pet and spend the afternoon on an animal scavenger hunt in the galleries, mugging in the photo booth, browsing vendors, and creating a pet rock to take home. Currently on exhibition in the historic Banfill-Locke house is Pets On View.
Dakota County Fair & Heritage Village @ Dakota County Fairgrounds, 4008 220th St W, Farmington, 55024
When: Aug. 10-16, 2015
Cost: $5/adults, $2/kids 6-12, $2/seniors, 5 & under free; $5/daily parking
Details: Heritage Village comes to life as it was a century ago during the run of the Dakota County Fair. Costumed characters interpret rural life as you visit the village buildings and take in demonstrations. Admission to Heritage Village is included in your ticket to the Fair, which also hosts many free activities, exhibits, and live entertainment.
When: Wednesday, Aug. 12 • 10-11:30am
Details: Connect to the natural world with your preschooler (designed for ages 2-5) through hikes, stories, and hands-on activities. Older children are welcome to attend; no pre-registration required. Enter the park at the Gannon Road entrance and meet at the picnic pavilion. The ExploraTots program meets on the second Wednesday of each month. For more free and low-cost environmental education programs in St. Paul, click here.
The Minnesota State Fair does not exactly scream “free” or “cheap”, you say? It’s true that costs can quickly add up between admission, treats and carnival rides, but for many families (mine included) a trip or few to the Fair is a summer must-do. We’ve included this list of 10 free attractions included in Fair admission to give you an idea of all the budget-friendly fun that is to be had. (Note: this is 2014’s list, but all attractions are scheduled to return for 2015.)
The Fair has so much free fun to offer we felt it warranted a second mention on our August list!
Don’t mourn the end of summer just yet, there’s still time and sun enough to hit the local beaches. Following up on our original list of 10 Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds to Try This Summer we present 10 MORE Twin Cities Beaches, Playgrounds & Attractions to Try This Summer.
Another sign that spring is finally here – a big crop of art festivals this weekend! Here’s a sampling of what’s going on (for FREE!) this weekend and, as always, check our extensive Family Fun Calendar for a complete listing of what else is cropping up around the Twin Cities.
SATURDAY, MAY 16
ArtStart’s EcoArts Fest
@ Harriet Island Regional Park Grounds & Pavilion
200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd, St. Paul, 55107
Time: 10am – 3pm
Ages: All ages welcome
Details: This event, now in its eighth year, promotes environmental stewardship through visual and performing arts. Click on the link above to get all the highlights of the 2015 EcoArts Fest.
Time: Saturday, Noon-8pm & Sunday, Noon-5pm
Ages: All ages welcome; consider reading Joy’s tips for visiting Art-A-Whirl with Kids before bringing the little ones.
Details: Spanning the entire weekend, Art-A-Whirl is NE Minneapolis’ ultimate open house for artist studios. Many offer hands-on activities or demonstrations that interest kids as well as their adults. A complete listing of Art-A-Whirl weekend offerings can be found here.
Eden Prairie Arts in the Park
@ Purgatory Creek Park
13001 Technology Dr., Eden Prairie, 55344
Time: 9am – 4pm
Ages: Appeals to all ages; there will be activities especially for children
Details: Shop the vendors, enjoy live music and special kids activities including yoga, crafts, storytelling and face painting.
@ Como Zoo & Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul, 55103
Time: 10am – 2pm
Ages: All ages
Details: KIND Snacks is hosting an event at Como to promote every-day acts of kindness. Activities include a scavenger hunt and fun freebies.
SUNDAY, MAY 17
Target Free Third Sunday
@ Minnesota Children’s Museum
10 7th St W, St Paul, 55102
Time: 9am – 5pm
Ages: All ages attend free!
Details: Explore the museum, including the new exhibit Sid the Science Kid thanks to the generosity of Target.